Calante Luna was an absolutely lovely and quite literally breath taking place to spend our week on the Amalfi coast. It's brand new (we were only the second family to stay there) and beautifully decorated. Remodeling the place was clearly a labor of love. The owners live on the floor above and were wonderfully gracious hosts, well accustomed to caring for guests after running a family restaurant in nearby Positano for the last 20 years or so. It's perfectly situated, well equipped, and we highly recommend staying here if you're so lucky!
About the apartment:
Above all, the view is gorgeous. Probably one of the best on the Amalfi coast. From Praiano you are perfectly situated to overlook Positano, and on a clear day you can see all the way down the coast to Capri. You can sit on the patio for hours and never tire of it, and the window in the bedroom is fantastically picturesque. Really, the photos don't do it justice. Everything in the house is brand new and just beautiful - lovely tile floors, nice and well stocked kitchen, great patios, very clean and modern bathrooms.
But perhaps even better than the view, one of our favorite things about staying at Calante Luna were our wonderful hosts. The family is incredibly gracious and hospitality is clearly second nature, probably because they all work at the family restaurant (Saracena D'Oro) in Positano. It's probably one of the best places to eat in Positano, since they actually care about the food, and they give you a 10% discount as guests. The care taker, Silvana, gave us a stamped card with the discount on it, but we didn't need it at all. The minute we walked up, she greeted us like family! We enjoyed it so much that we went a second time before leaving.
The overall experience of staying there is just wonderful. We were met by one of the sons, who carried our heavy suitcases (full of wine from Tuscany) up the many stairs, and immediately offered us fresh fruit and cold drinks on our arrival. Do not underestimate the stairs, there are many of them (hence the breath taking comment above), this location is not for people with mobility problems and you would do well to pack light. And Silvana came by in the morning a few times to offer some sweet Italian coffee or cake, and just to chat to make sure we were enjoying our stay. Her English is excellent, but she was also very kind about humoring our desire to converse in Italian.
About the location (other than the view):
We found Praiano a great home base for the Amalfi coast. It's located right between the two nicest cities, Amalfi (with connections to cities down the coast) and Positano (with ferries to Capri and other lovely destinations). And it is well connected by SITA bus (the line that runs up and down the whole coast) and the local Flavio Gioia bus (service between Praiano and Positano). The apartment is about a five minute walk up the hill from the main bus stop in Praiano. The local bus service is cheap, runs more frequently and regularly than the SITA bus, and runs pretty late, so we found it to be incredibly convenient for getting to and from Positano. You can even buy your tickets right on the bus for an extra 30 eurocents, but they prefer if you buy beforehand. And as an added benefit, you can take the local bus one stop past the main stop in Praiano to save yourself a little walk up the hill. Silvana provided bus schedules for both lines, making it super easy to plan.
There are a several little markets within walking distance at the bottom of the hill for groceries, bread, cheese, fruit etc. And there are a couple of restaurants you can walk to on the main road. We didn't really even explore the actual town of Praiano which is up above the apartment. We hiked down to the beach one day, and it wasn't really worth it -- it's quite a hike! You can take the local bus to a beach called La Praia where there are chairs and a couple restaurants. But we took our beach day on Capri (ferry service from Positano and Amalfi) as we found the island's beaches to be much prettier.
[a note about the local bus, since this took us a while to figure out. It passes through the main Praiano bus stop 3 times. First coming from Positano where it goes up through Praiano and then to the beach at La Praia, Second coming back and going up through town again but skipping La Praia, and Third going back to Positano. If you are in a rush, like to catch a ferry, board the second time since the bus might fill up before the third stop]
Two minor issues:
The only thing that was difficult (other than the stairs!) is that there were a lot of mosquitoes, and I was getting terribly bitten. However, about halfway through our stay Silvana bought a portable fan for the place (as I mentioned, the place is brand new) which helped a lot. There were some ants outside on the patio, which would sometimes venture into the house, but if you have that problem ask Silvana for a spray to take care of them.
The patio, while it is gorgeous and decorated with lovely flowers, is well equipped with a private table with an umbrella, shared lounge chairs with an umbrella, a semi-private jacuzzi, and is more private and luxurious than most any hotel in the area; although it is shared by the next door apartment. The bedroom has a door that opens on to the deck directly, and while there is a trellis which divides the deck in two, it doesn't provide full privacy. This was indicated to use before we booked, so not a problem, just something to be aware of.
In sum, this place is perfect for a romantic stay (we were in the smaller apartment) and we highly recommend it!
- Also Known As:
- Calanteluna Praiano, Italy - Amalfi Coast